Sister Paul Rita Champigny, 76


NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA — Holy Union Sister Paul Rita Champigny, 76, a resident of Madonna Manor, died January 2 following a long illness. She was the sister of Father Roger G. Champigny, pastor emeritus of St. Catherine Church, Warwick, now a resident of North Providence.

Born in Pawtucket, she was the daughter of the late Albany and Rosaline (Lanoue) Champigny.

Sister Champigny graduated from St. Cecilia School and the former St. John Baptist Academy, Pawtucket. She entered the Holy Union Sisters in Groton, MA in 1949 and pronounced her vows on July 26, 1952. She attended Sacred Heart Teacher Training School, Groton, MA and received a bachelor’s degree from the former Catholic Teachers College, Providence. She also received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Emmanuel College, Boston.

Sister Champigny taught junior high students in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for 15 years. In 1967 she went to St. John Baptist High School in Pawtucket and remained there until the school closed in 1974. When St. Raphael Academy became coeducational in September, 1974 she joined the faculty, and served as a teacher and artist. In 1995 she served on the Academic Development Committee to expand the school’s art program. In 1999 she received the school’s Bonus and Fidelis Award “for twenty-five years of good and faithful service.”

In addition to Father Champiogny, she is survived by another brother, Norman Champigny of Lincoln, MA, and several nieces and nephews.

She formally retired in 2000 but continued to serve as a volunteer instructor of English and art to Haitian immigrants in the Helping Adults Learn Today (HALT) program in Mattapan, MA. Illness forced her to retire permanently in 2004.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated January 7 in St. Cecilia Church, Pawtucket. Burial was in Notre Dame Cemetery, Pawtucket.